NETTLETON — Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley has reached out to President Barack Obama, Mississippi’s congressional delegation and other Washington leaders in an attempt to block any federal government attempts to dispose of the nation’s nuclear waste in Mississippi.
In a letter sent this week, Presley shared copies of recent unanimously passed PSC resolutions opposing a permanent nuclear waste disposal site in Mississippi and requesting refunds for the $80 million paid by Mississippi residents for a failed government storage facility in Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
Presley wrote that he encloses the resolutions “…in the hope that they will present you with an accurate account of Mississippi nuclear waste storage policy and correct any impression you may have been given that Mississippi would welcome the nation’s waste.”
Presley’s concern stems from public comments made by federal officials naming Mississippi as a potential site for a waste facility. In July 31, 2013, testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Environment and Energy, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz named Mississippi as a top contender to replace Yucca Mountain as the location at which the nation would dispose of its nuclear waste. More recently, in an Associated Press article published May 26 of this year, Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy Peter Lyons was quoted as calling Mississippi one of “the most public of potential hosts to express interest in taking high level waste.”
Presley says he believes that Moniz and Lyons have been misinformed of Mississippi’s wishes.
“I think it is very important for everyone from the White House to our congressional delegation and the bureaucrats in the Energy Department to know that this agency stands unified against any efforts to make Mississippi America’s nuclear waste dump. It is obvious from the statements of Secretary Moniz and Mr. Lyons that there is an effort afoot to at least consider our state for the (nuclear waste site). I want them to know where our agency stands,” Presley said. “I find it strange that the Department of Energy continues to push this idea of Mississippi as an alternative site for Yucca Mountain, Nevada. They need to know that the Public Service Commission is against that harebrained scheme.”